Straight Through the Heart | Chicago Reader

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German director Doris Dorrie's 1984 debut feature is a bright and slightly acrid social/sexual comedy about a woman whose every change in hairstyle—from brunette to blue-haired renegade to blond—inaugurates a sea change in social and domestic fortunes. It's a slighter effort than Dorrie's later Men . . . , scaled more to character than ambitious sociology, though the execution is, if anything, more vigorous and active, less given to garrulous rumination. The material suggests an affinity for Sirkian soap and the kind of social nastiness that West German compatriot Robert van Ackeren (A Woman in Flames, Purity of Heart) customarily favors—there's a false pregnancy, a baby kidnapping, a bathtub electrocution—though the economical stylization (flat, colorful, precise) and sense of contemporary engagement are distinctly Dorrie's own. Not a work of full maturity, but a remarkably assured beginning. With Beate Jensen, Sepp Bierbichler, and Gabriel Litty.

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